In this weekly series, we scour the world in search of the most weird and wonderful hotels. From cave hotels to converted prisons, capsule pods to underwater guestrooms, you can expect only the unexpected. This week, The Pineapple.
What’s the gimmick? In the Scottish village of Airth is built an enormous architectural prank; The Pineapple is an elaborate summerhouse of two storeys, built for the 4th Earl of Dunmore. The Lord had spent some time serving as Governor of Virginia, where sailors would put a pineapple on the gatepost to announce their return home. Upon returning to Scotland after the term, Dunmore, who was fond of a joke, built a huge stone pineapple on top of his one storey pavilion to announce he was home.
Why stay? Though classical and orthodox at ground level, The Pineapple grows slowly into something a little fruitier on top. A little like something Spongebob Squarepants might be seen dwelling within, the mansion’s conventional architraves put out shoots and end as prickly leaves of stone towards the top of the building It is an eccentric work of aristocratic whim and undoubted genius, built of the very finest stone masonry.
The Wow Factor: Despite its peculiar exterior, everything in The Pineapple is tastefully furnished with antiques. There is a pile of wood stacked at the ready for the open fire in the lounge and historical prints showing hunting scenes adorning the walls. The Pineapple itself functions as a spectacular summer house, well kitted out with a set of garden furniture so guests can spend a balmy summer evening drinking tea and enjoying the views of the immense walled garden. This, in the Scottish tradition, was built some distance from the house, to take advantage of a south-facing slope.
The Pineapple and its surroundings are owned by the National Trust for Scotland. The Landmark Trust took on the lease in 1973 and restored all the buildings and the walled garden, now open to the public.
Prices start from £76 a night. Click here for details.